Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ObamaCare -- The Death Spiral Begins


December 22, 2013: "we need to pass this bill to see what's in it" -- well, now we know. If you make $100,000  or more annually you won't qualify for a subsidy. If you make $94,000 or less, you could qualify for as much as 50% in subsidies. Talk about a law that was put together without much thoughts. What folks don't understand is this: the IRS isn't going to audit what you say your annual income is. When asked how much you make, simply say $90,000. It's a nice round number. And it qualifies for a huge subsidy. What a great country.

December 20, 2013: individual mandate is now going by the wayside.
Another exemption to Obamacare.
The Obama administration has opened a small, but potentially important, hole in a key requirement of the new healthcare law, letting some people who have had insurance policies cancelled avoid the requirement to buy coverage next year. The change, announced Thursday night in a letter that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent to a group of senators, marks the first exception the administration has allowed to the law's so-called individual mandate.
Under the new policy, people who have received notices that their health plans are being canceled would qualify for hardship exemptions allowed by the law. Under those exemptions, they could buy low-cost catastrophic health plans or skip buying health coverage altogether.
December 17, 2013: how bad are things going for the president? Things are so bad with regard to NSA spying he is starting to talk about how good things are going with regard to his Obamacare website. Everything is relative.

December 14, 2013: This does not bode well. ObamaCare accounts debiting bank accounts incorrectly. Link is at (Washington State).

December 14, 2013: following the NPR article in which it was announced that the "2014 Lie of the Year" award goes to President's Obama's "you can keep your insurance" promise, I wrote this to a reader:
Yes, I think it becomes more and more difficult for Obama supporters to rationalize their support for him.  I still get a kick out of folks who say, "Well, I still support him, but everything he's done has screwed up my life."

Talk about cognitive dissonance.
December 11, 2013: the numbers, by state:

  • North Dakota, at 265, signed up the lowest number.
  • South Dakota, at 372 , signed up the second lowest.
  • Florida, at 17,908, led the nation (Florida, with all its senior citizens, is certainly not known for young, healthy males)
  • Illinois, at 7,043, certainly is not particularly noteworthy.
  • Delaware, at 7,650, was said to be "tiny."
  • Hawaii signed up 574, for $350,000 apiece.
  • California signed up 107,087.
  • Oregon, 44. 
Reminder: the ten (10) states most critical and the numbers needed to enroll:

  • California: 1.3 million
  • Texas: 629,000
  • Florida: 477,000
  • Washington State: 340,000
  • Oregon: 237,0000
  • New York: 218,000
  • Pennsylvania: 206,000
  • Georgia: 204,000
  • North Carolina: 191,000
  • Ohio: 190,000

November 23, 2013: this is getting confusing. I thought the "2014" deadline was March 31, 2014 (after being delayed from March 15, 2014) but now this:
People needing health insurance by January 1, 2014 will have eight extra days to sign up, officials said. The original deadline for year-end coverage was December 15, but now will be moved to December 23.
With the first enrollment period barely off the ground, the Obama administration also has decided to delay enrollment for the second year of the program to give insurance companies more time to calculate rates, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
The delay will mean consumers will start shopping for insurance for Year Two of Obamacare on November 15, 2014 - more than a week after voters go to the polls for midterm elections, when congressional Democrats are expected to face tough questions about the policy they supported. [This means the official rates won't be available until after the election. The rates are predicted to soar. In fact, the rates will be "leaked" well before the election.]
November 22, 2013: Senator Al Franken joins a growing number of senators who are open to delaying ObamaCare. The employer-mandate has been delayed a week; the individual mandate has been delayed for two weeks.

November 22, 2013: days before launch, the ObamaCare website unable to handle even 500 users. Wow, talk about amateur hour. Reuters is reporting:
In the last days before the botched October 1 launch of President Barack Obama's healthcare website, the team in charge was seeing alarming results from performance tests, according to internal emails released by Republican lawmakers investigating the rollout. was unable to consistently handle 500 users at once in the testing, and tests failed with 2,000 users over a three-day period, according to a series of emails between members of the information technology team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
"I do not want a repeat of what happened near the end of December 2005 where Medicare.Gov had a meltdown," Henry Chao, the website's project manager at CMS, wrote in capital letters in an urgent message on September 26 to his team and contractors.
November 16, 2013: Apple, Google, and Drudge all report that 20% of internet users are unable to access their sites due to technology glitches inherent in their sites. Just joking; not true. But that's exactly what the developers of the ObamaCare on-line web site exchange are telling Americans. They expect that on December 1, 2013, when the website is working "smoothly," twenty percent (20%) of Americans will not be able to access the site. From a legitimate mainstream media outlet. I can't make this stuff up.

November 11, 2013: the president's tally will include those who have enrolled, but not purchased a plan. Call it his ObamaCare Mulligan

November 10, 2013: this is the best article to date that explains why ObamaCare will fail. It's not the website.
Since it is, stories about people like Dianne Barrette suddenly losing health insurance plans that cost $54/month in return for plans that cost $591/month were inevitable. There’s once again no such thing as a free good, and unless federally mandated insurance plans offering everything – including maternity benefits for men – were going to be given away by insurance companies hurdling toward bankruptcy, it was inevitable that what Obama promised was going to be accompanied by a much larger price tag for individuals.
Notice: these two words in the same sentence -- "bankruptcy" and "insurers."

November 10, 2013: folks familiar with how the White House functions suggest that the website will not be working smoothly by November 30, 2013.

November 10, 2013: according to a WSJ op-ed, these "dirty dozen" are at risk of losing their Senate seat. These democrats running for re-election in 2014 cast the decisive vote for ObamaCare: Mark Begich, AK; Dick Durbin, IL; Al Franken, MN; Kay Hagan, NC; Mary Landrieu, LA, Jeff Merkley, OR; Mark Pryor, AR; Jack Reed, RI: Jenanne Shaheen, NH; Mark Udall, CO; Tom Udall, NM; Mark Warner, VA. My hunch: 11 of 12 will win re-election. All politics is local.

November 7, 2013: the president says he is sorry to hear that millions have lost their insurance policies, and to hear that folks can't keep the doctor they have and/or like.

November 7, 2013: The ObamaCare website will be taken down daily, from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. indefinitely for "routine maintenance." The administration official says it could be down more than that, but that's a starting point.

November 3, 2013: The Washington Post gives four Pinocchios to Mr Obama regarding his comments after the disastrous roll out.

November 3, 2013: the president should be pissed. His own people screwed him. They knew the website was not ready for prime time.
In May 2010, two months after the Affordable Care Act squeaked through Congress, President Obama’s top economic aides were getting worried. Larry Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Peter Orszag, head of the Office of Management and Budget, had just received a pointed four-page memo from a trusted outside health adviser. It warned that no one in the administration was “up to the task” of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality.
Summers, Orszag and their staffs agreed. For weeks that spring, a tug of war played out inside the White House, according to five people familiar with the episode. On one side, members of the economic team and Obama health-care adviser Zeke Emanuel lobbied for the president to appoint an outside health reform “czar” with expertise in business, insurance and technology. On the other, the president’s top health aides — who had shepherded the legislation through its tortuous path on Capitol Hill and knew its every detail — argued that they could handle the job.
November 1, 2013: commentary on the trainwreck -- why the health insurers demanded that the employer mandate for ObamaCare be delayed for one year

October 27, 2013: Middle-class Californians are getting their ObamaCare health bills. Good for them. The Los Angeles Times is reporting:
Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them — and many don't like what they see.
These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. Their rates are rising in large part to help offset the higher costs of covering sicker, poorer people who have been shut out of the system for years.
Although recent criticism of the healthcare law has focused on website glitches and early enrollment snags, experts say sharp price increases for individual policies have the greatest potential to erode public support for President Obama's signature legislation.
October 25, 2013 Rush Limbaugh talked about it first, and now the mainstream media has it figured out. Rush is right. If you don't get a refund from the government, you can avoid the ObamaCare penalty. If the IRS assesses you the $95 / 1% family income penalty for lacking health insurance, they can only take if from your refund. If you have no refund, you won't get sent a bill. The ObamaCare bill was not well thought out. To say the least. Yahoo!Finance is reporting:
How exactly will the penalty be assessed? If you don’t have sufficient health coverage by the deadline, the “IRS will hold back the amount of the fee from any future tax refunds,” according to, the government’s marketplace website.

But what if you don’t get a tax refund? Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh picked up on this subject on his show this week, telling listeners: “The only way that they can collect the penalty or the fine is by taking money from your refund. If you are not owed a refund, they cannot get money from you.”

We asked Mark Luscombe, principal analyst at CCH Tax & Accounting North America, about that. Turns out Limbaugh is essentially right. If you don't get a refund next year, the “IRS could carry over the sum due and apply it against any refunds in future years. On a joint return, the penalty of one joint filer could be applied against the refund due to the other joint filer,” Luscombe says. 
I've maintained from the start that "this" is going to be the biggest "act of civil disobedience" in this country -- people finding ways to NOT enroll in ObamaCare. And I doubt the IRS is going to take folks to court of $95. 

October 25, 2013: increasing number of Senate dems want ObamaCare delayed.

October 25, 2013: in the "Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," on CNN, three folks tried unsuccessfully for 90 minutes to enroll into ObamaCare. At the end of the 90-minute special, they were still trying to enroll. One would think this would be a FOX stunt, but no, this was on CNN, President Obama's #2 television station. MSNBC, of course, is #1 at the White House.

October 24, 2013: for archival purposes -- even the website developer could not log on

October 24, 2013: wow, I love these time-date stamps on the blog. You will note that I posted the original post last evening, noting that the "death spiral" for ObamaCare had begun. Now I see today, the mainstream media is referring to this as the "death spiral." Yahoo!News is reporting:
The politics editor at Business Insider, tells The Daily Ticker, "The government needs to get the website up and running as soon as possible." If it doesn't and only the sickest Americans sign up--because younger and healthier individuals don't--there could be an "insurance death spiral," says Barro.
He explains: "If only people who are especially sick buy health insurance, then you end up with a pool of people who are really expensive to cover, so insurers have to respond to that by raising premiums. Then more people drop out of insurance because it gets more expensive and you have a death spiral where only extremely sick people paying extremely higher premiums are in the insurance market."
The politics editor is talking about the "death spiral" for the health insurers, whereas my "death spiral" is a bit broader, encompassing the entire scam / debacle / trainwreck. 

Original Post 

For newbies, there are three components of ObamaCare:
  • the employer mandate
  • the individual mandate
  • taxes on medical devices
The employer mandate has been delayed on year.

The Tea Party lost the battle -- at least it was widely reported that the Tea Party lost the battle -- to defund ObamaCare, and lost the battle to delay the individual mandate. It is now being reported that:
  • the president may delay the individual ObamaCare
  • every Democratic senator up for re-election may, in fact, support a decision to delay ObamaCare
The issue of delaying the individual mandate is now moot.

It is well known that it is impossible to enroll via the webpage. There are other ways to enroll -- such as telephoning and in person. However, the "navigator" will most likely use the webpage to help folks enroll by telephone or in person.

If folks cannot enroll by the deadline date due to technological reasons, they certainly cannot be penalized by the IRS for failing to enroll. Of course, the IRS will attempt to go after them, but Congress will be forced to call off the IRS if folks complain that they tried to enroll but were unable to do so.

So, regardless of whether the individual mandate is delayed or not, anyone who is not enrolled by the deadline date, and is penalized by the IRS, an appeal will be made, arguing that they tried without success to enroll. No one can be fined for not enrolling until the system is working flawlessly.

Roads Are Getting Safer In The Bakken; The Streets Might Be Getting Safer, Too -- "Everyone" Is Carrying A Gun

The Williston Herald is reporting:
For the fourth time in five months, the Williston Police Department reports that accidents in 2013 went down compared to 2012.
Lt. Mark Bitz reports that in September there were 140 accidents, down from the 150 reported in September 2012.
Vehicle damage also plummeted in September with damage valued at $474,750, a drop of almost $150,000 when compared to September 2012. The police reported there was $18,700 in private property damage and $26,100 in public property damage.
There were no pedestrian or bicycle accidents in September, and there was one motorcycle involved in an accident.
There were 22 people injured in September, one less than in 2012. 
Meanwhile, The Dickinson Press is reporting:
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says the state crime bureau is “overwhelmed” with applications for concealed weapons licenses, creating longer wait times for applicants at a time when a change in state law recently raised the application fee from $45 to $60.
My hunch is this folks: folks in North Dakota are more concerned about the Feds banning weapons than banning fracking. 

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Thursday; Ten (10) New Permits

Active rigs: 181 (down, trending down)

Wells coming off the confidential list, Thursday, October 24, 2013
  • 21997, drl, Petro-Hunt, Producers Corp 159-98-8A-17-3H, North Tioga, no production data,
  • 24413, drl, Statoil, Broderson 30-31 4TFH, Banks, no production data,
  • 24678, 407, CLR, MCGregor 3-22H, Lindahl, t8/13; cum --
  • 25327, drl, XTO, Olson 34X-19G, Arnegard, no production data,
Ten (10) new permits --
  • Operators: SHD (4), MRO (3), Hess (2), Sinclair
  • Fields: Reunion Bay (Mountrail), Clarks Creek (McKenzie), Robinson Lake (Mountrail), Sanish (Mountrail)
  • Comments: SHD has about seven permits in North Dakota
Wells coming off the confidential list today were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Six (6) producing wells completed: 
  • 22666, 1,538, Enerplus, Pinto 149-93-29A-32H, Arnegard, t9/13;
  • 22665, 1,352, Enerplus, Mustang 149-93-29A-32H TF, Mandaree, t9/13;
  • 23512, 676, Hess, EN-Fretheim S-154-93-0805H-6, Robinson Lake, t9/13;
  • 24640, 1,381, Hess, HA-Nelson 152-95-3328H-4, Hawkeye, t9/13;
  • 24442, 537, Hess, EN-State B 155-93-1609H-5, Alger, t9/13;
  • 23182, 818, Hess, SC-Tom 153-98-1514H-3, Truax, t9/13;
Petro-Hunt canceled one permit:
24149, PNC, Petro-Hunt, Fort Berthold 148-94-27C-22-4H, McGregory Buttes,

Archives: The Best

In an attempt to make the sidebar more manageable, I am winnowing "The Best: Archived" at the sidebar at the right. Most will be removed from the sidebar at the right and placed here.

A trillion-barrel reservoir?

Bentek: the Bakken to produce 2.2 million bopd

Archived presentations

Bakken breakout, 2012

Bakken breakout, 2011 (The Bismarck Tribune link for this story is no longer working)

Maximum Bakken production

RBN Energy on flaring in the Bakken -- May 6, 2013

Publications Re: The Williston Basin

Archived commentaries

Staggering statistics, 2009

Crazy numbers

The Lodgepole: Update

Definition: The Bakken Pool

Basic Analysis of the Bakken Boom

World's Largest Microseismic Array

TOC and the Tyler

Snapshot: Data Prior to May 20, 2013

The Americans: Tex Ritter


January 16, 2014: For now, this goes here. It may be moved to a different pay some day in the future. 

The Minneapolis Star and Tribune recently did a story, "Cast Adrift on an Ocean of Oil," pointing out how a preacher, a teacher, and a cop have had enough of the crime, the traffic, and the outsiders, and are moving out. I mentioned the article earlier but did not post the link. There was something about the story that did not ring true. I could not place my finger(s) on it. A reader helped me out. Here is the reader's response to that story:
As a takeoff on News Busted's report that "polar vortex" is also the nickname for the space between Al Gore's ears, if empty space is actually found there, news reports will most likely attribute it to shrinkage of the polar cortex. 
Since so much that passes as news, today, belongs in the classification "Political Satire," it's hard to restrain the urge to satirize those reports. And that's how I spent much of this past Sunday.
It was good to note my fears were unfounded that you wouldn't have time to mull the Star Tribune article on ND towns "cast adrift" or the picture of the traffic jam which my local paper---I kid you not--- actually dated thusly: "These trucks were lined up along a road near Watford City, N.D., on Dec. 10, 2013." This was too precious to just give it a pass. In the photo, the hills, fields and meadows are alive. The lush groves are deep green and heavy with summer's full foliage.
In July, I had come upon a similar scene, topping a hill and seeing a solid string of vehicles extending down and away to the top of the next even higher hill. I joined the jam, for a brief period through a road construction zone, and was soon rewarded with the completed and smoothest 4-lane highway I have ever been on. Change happens.
When I cross the ND oil patch and spot an oil derrick, it is fun to peruse the horizon all around for a count, as if the number of rigs visible from any one point were related to the significance of that particular stretch of the "oil ocean" I was traversing. On my last trip between Canada and Williston, I did count as many as three rigs from one point and miles apart. For most of the 70-mile stretch, I saw none. I only mention this because of the anecdotal reporting of reactions to the light pollution from 200 ND oil rigs operating around the clock. In the mind of the reader, lights from all 200 oil derricks tend to be immediately transposed on each site about which anyone could wax nostalgic over an idyllic, natural, nighttime ND light show.
But the minds eye is just as apt to err with time as with place, superimposing a current experience as if following directly from a piece of one's rustic, treasured past and relating them as an unbroken cause and effect sequence. How long will it be, before a new New Town resident boasts he can remember when New Town only had two traffic lights? Another recalls the short period, when there was only one. Others recall when there were none. I expect, such a vanishing point can be found for most subjects of nostalgia.
New Town and Lake Sakakawea are telling examples. The very people (in their 70's) whose memories are mined by the Star Tribune writer for images of the view from a lakeshore cabin, minus the flares of oil wells and lights from drilling rigs or the recent doubling of light pollution from New Town's traffic lights, surely also recall when the lake was a river and New Town was once a prairie plateau. The vanishing point of nostalgia for the villages of Van Hook and Sanish was pretty well sealed when "Vanish" failed to prevail as the name of the new town that was to be the result of their relocation from the soon-to-be flooded, wooded river bottoms. Had the jobs, dam and resulting reservoir with lakeshore cabin sites not come with a price?
Compare this to the writer's perspective: "While thousands of workers and billions of dollars flow in with the oil, losing teachers and preachers comes with a price." While there are similarities in how the story of "the lake" and "the ocean" (of oil) can be told, this summary of the latter is classic. Its faulty transpositions in time are beyond what can be covered in a letter. Briefly put, It ignores the reality that the loss of teachers, preachers, their country schools, "churches with steeples," and entire small-town communities was almost complete, before horizontal drilling interrupted not the dreams of those left behind but, rather, interrupted the very decline to which the flight of so many from the good earth only contributed.
And, since the writer pays appropriate reverence for the roles of preachers and teachers, the notion that oil contributes to their flight begs for testing from the perspective of the historic origins of their churches and schools. Mission fervor drove pastors along the courses taken by homesteaders to organize congregations in homes or storefronts. The density of resulting churches and country schools was determined to a surprising extent by the distance one could reasonably ride a horse or carriage for schooling or Sabbath worship. (Today, its the number of hours reasonable for a student to spend riding a school bus each day.) Those pastors thrived or suffered the hardships of the homesteaders they served, carving a future out of prairie sod. Some even homesteaded themselves.

ObamaNation - Page Two

This is page 2.

When I first started ObamaNation, I never knew how wildly successful it would become.


January 7, 2014: after a $4 million vacation in Hawaii, President Obama makes speech about income inequality. No shame for this president. He and the children flew back to get them back to school. The missus stayed behind in Hawaii to extend her vacation; she will be staying at Oprah's mansion. 

October 29, 2013: this is actually quite a good story, explaining why Obama won't sack Sebelius despite the disastrous ObamaCare rollout. It will be interesting how long she sticks around. The administration says the website will be "fixed" by the end of November, 2013. So, we'll see how long his patience lasts.  But, I digress. As I was saying: the linked article is actually quite a good story. Near the end, the writer lists the larger debacles of ObamaNation.
If Sebelius is dug in, Obama has no objections. It's a trait: This president has a profound unwillingness to chew out secretaries when he thinks it's mere politics. "It's not Obama's thing," says a former assistant secretary in the Obama Cabinet. "You never seen him fire anyone. They [i.e. the White House staff] kind of go dark for awhile [when they're upset] and then move on."
During the Solyndra mess Obama resisted calls to replace Steven Chu as Energy secretary.
After the BP oil spill he never ripped into Interior Secretary Ken Salazar even though the Minerals Management Service, which regulated oil drilling, was under his eyes.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was never chewed out for the Cash for Clunkers program.
And Eric Holder has never been at risk.
I had completely forgotten about the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

Original Post

The break from "page 1" to "page 2" is significant.

I made the decision to break to page 2 just about the time the ObamaCare website was beginning its death spiral and about the same day that the German chancellor discovered Mr Obama was eavesdropping on her mobile phone (I wonder if it was an iPhone?). I couldn't quite come up with a 30-second soundbite to describe what was going on, but today, a link at The Drudge Report, I think, has provided that soundbite: Mr Obama's credibility is in meltdown.

Despite mainstream media's love affair with Mr Obama, it appears main street USA is finally sorting this out. Again, thank goodness for the internet, posting stories that we would otherwise never see.

Even the Saudis are cutting their diplomatic ties with the US. That was the headline, but the story did not confirm the headline. I don't think Saudi Arabia is officially severing diplomatic ties with the US, but that relationship is at an all-time low. Of course, the average American probably would be happy to see that rift widen; I am unaware of any American who has good feelings for OPEC or its sheiks and princes.

It is interesting that after I wrote the above, I went over to the linked article. Amazing how smart minds think alike.
Bluntly, Mr. Obama's partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don't trust him. Whether it's the Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians or the congressional Republicans, they've all had their fill of coming up on the short end with so mercurial a U.S. president. And when that happens, the world's important business doesn't get done. It sits in a dangerous and volatile vacuum.  
Mr Henninger is wrong on one account. The Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians, and the congressional Republicans will continue to do business with Mr Obama; he's the only "game" in town (Washington, DC).

22 Fun Facts Before The 2014 State of the Union Address
  1. The number of Americans that have joined the food stamp program since
    Obama took office: 19.4 million.
  2. The number of people unemployed at the end of Obama’s fifth year as
    president: 10.4 million.
  3. The number of people working part-time that would like to work full-time: 7.8 million.
  4. The number of people that have entered poverty since 2008: 6.7 million.
  5. Americans who received cancellation notices for their health plans
    due to ObamaCare after Obama promised they could keep their plans in his 2010 state of the union address: 5 million.
  6. The number of Americans struggling with long-term unemployment of 27 Weeks or over: 3.9 million.
  7. The increase in Americans struggling with long-term unemployment since Obama became president: 1.2 Million.
  8. Construction jobs (aka “shovel-ready jobs”) lost since Obama took office: 721,000.
  9. Manufacturing jobs lost since Obama took office: 528,000.
  10. The number of people that left the labor force in december: 347,000.
  11. The debt per capita for Americans at the end of 2013: $54,688.
  12. Average student debt for a college graduate: $29,400
  13. The increase in debt per capita for Americans since Obama took office: $19,661
  14. The decline in median house hold income since Obama became president: $3,827.
  15. Increase in family health care premiums under Obama, despite his claim
    that ObamaCare would reduce premiums during his 2010 state of the union
    address (subsidies being irrelevant): $3,671.
  16. The last time the labor force participation rate was at its current level: 1978.
  17. Increase in the average price per gallon of gas since Obama took office: 79%.
  18. The percent of unemployed that are 18-34 year olds: 46%.
  19. Average number of weeks someone will be unemployed: 37.
  20. Poverty rate in 2012 – an increase from 13.2 percent the year before
    Obama became president: 15%.
  21. The number of times Obama has pivoted to the economy: 14.
  22. The number of new ideas expected from Obama’s 2014 state of the union address: 0. [He did not disappoint.]

    The President's "Firsts"
    I think most presidents have been "corrupt" in some sense, but this president seems to have been most corrupt for "personal advancement"; and most successful in promoting his own personal religion
  • First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner
  • First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in
  • First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States
  • First President to violate the War Powers Act
  • First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
  • First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party
  • First President to spend a trillion dollars on "shovel-ready" jobs when there was no such thing as "shovel-ready" jobs
  • First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters
  • First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat
  • First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions
  • First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees
  • First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign
  • First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space
  • First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer and to say that America is no longer a Christian nation
  • First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present
  • First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it
  • First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases
  • First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory
  • First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN)
  • First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago
  • First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal). 
  • First President to fire an inspector general of AmeriCorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case
  • First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office
  • First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists
  • First President to golf more than 150 separate times in his five years in office
  • First President to hide his birth, medical, educational and travel records
  • First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it
  • First President to go on multiple "global apology tours" and concurrent "insult our friends" tours. First President to go on over 17 lavish vacations, in addition to date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends paid for by the taxpayers
  • First President to have personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife
  • First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense
  • First President to fly in a personal trainer from Chicago at least once a week at taxpayer expense
  • First President to repeat the Holy Quran and tell us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth 
  • First President to side with a foreign nation over one of the American 50 states ( Mexico vs. Arizona )
  • First President to refer to the 57 states of America (which coincidentally is the number of Islamic "states" worldwide (he got his facts crossed)
  • First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they "volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences" 
  • Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion. (Thank God he didn't get away with THIS one.)

CNBC Reporting From The El Rancho Sports Restaurant In Williston, North Dakota

CNBC is reporting from Williston, North Dakota. It appears that at least one segment was broadcast from the El Rancho Sports Restaurant.

Huge Story For North Dakota Bakken Permitting: XTO Granted A Permit Near The Park


November 4, 2013note the by-line of this LA Times story -- Washington, DC. Something tells me this writer has never been to North Dakota, and certainly hasn't visit the XTO site noted below. Having said that, for the LA Times, it's a fairly balanced article.
WASHINGTON — On a stretch of ranchland nestled in the North Dakota Badlands, under dark, star-filled night skies, serene landscape and solitude, Theodore Roosevelt formed his strong conservationist ideals more than a century ago.
But the night skies around the former president's Elkhorn Ranch, referred to as the "cradle of conservation" by environmentalists and historians, now glow orange. From some of the highest points in what is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park, dozens of natural gas flares are visible not far away. They're the product of an oil boom using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in a speech Thursday outlining the administration's conservation goals, cited Theodore Roosevelt National Park as an example of what some see as the quintessential issue for the department: striking the right balance between development and conservation.
And that's the reason one doesn't invite the Obama hacks to the North Dakota oil patch: it becomes a rallying cry. Save the park! Which, of course, is a non-issue. North Dakota will handle it just fine.

Original Post

The story is being reported in The Bismarck Tribune:
  • XTO and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • far out of sight of the park; neither bison nor tourists will be able to see it from the park (of course, bison are near-sighted, and wouldn't see it even if standing on the pad)
  • the pad will be two miles from the park; near the park's Elkhorn Ranch site
  • there is already a road leading to the pad
  • the drilling unit will be expanded from two sections to four sections (1280- to 2560-acre)
  • allows the two original spacing units to be drilled but from a smaller footprint, and farther from the park
  • near the southeast corner of the northern of the previous two 1280-acre units
  • considered a "win-win-win-win" by the NDIC director
  • XTO withdrew original application which would have put the pad within 300 feet of the ranch site
  • the lease is on Forest Service land located within the Little Missouri National Grasslands
  • the permit puts additional restrictions on XTO: the commission will only allow XTO to come onto the pad twice to drill the wells: first time to drill one well for each of the portions to secure the least; after that XTO would need to enact a plan to drill the remaining wells upon returning to the site
For newbies: CLR is drilling a 14-well pad southwest of Williston, which will take several months with one rig to complete. 

Typo Or New Metric: Oil Production By Rig

A very alert reader noted this paragraph in a Reuters story I linked earlier:
The report also tracks the productivity of each play by calculating oil production per rig. Production per rig is seen rising to 482 bpd from 459 bpd for the Bakken, increasing to 404 bpd from 396 bpd for Eagle Ford and remaining stable at 79 bpd for the Permian. 
I don't know if that is Reuters or the US EIA that writes: "calculating oil production by rig."

One would assume that this is a typo: that the EIA is tracking production by well, and not by rig. I find it hard to believe that these guys would make such a basic error. I assume it's an error/typo but I suppose someone could be tracking by rig.

It also begs the question: "rising to 482 bpd from 459 bpd for the Bakken" over what period of time, or is this the IP? If this is the IP, most of us agree IPs are interesting, but not exactly bellwethers for tracking productivity.

Just an observation from a very alert reader. I don't expect any clarification.

[Update: that was fast. Another reader also wondered about this and asked his "smarter brother" what he thought. The "smarter brother" suggested that indeed, it is "by rig." I had blogged earlier about the increased effectiveness of the huge H&P flex rigs and so I thought it might very well be a new metric. If so, it's an incredible metric. This is the note I got from a reader:
[My brother's] take on it is that it is by rig, not by well, and the increase is more to do with decreased drilling times and pad efficiencies with walking rigs then with better individual wells.  The wells do get better but not anywhere near enough for that dramatic increase.
So there you have it. More to follow, I'm sure. Again, I really appreciate folks sending me their thoughts. I won't use names unless folks want credit for their contributions, which are much appreciated.]

Random CNBC Story On Flaring

Link here to CNBC story.
Some pipeline builders have sensed an opportunity. Earlier this month, Energy Transfer Equity agreed to buy PVR Partners for $3.8 billion, while Crestwood Midstream announced a $750 million deal to buy privately held Arrow Midstream Holdings. Crestwood will become one of the biggest processors in the Bakken after the deal.

Hess plans to spend more than $300 million to double its processing plant in Tioga. N.D.; Alliance Pipeline is building a $141 million 79-mile extension that will carry natural gas from the Bakken to its larger interstate pipeline from Alberta.

MRO Permits Another Tyler Well In Slope County


June 11, 2015: an individual who has lived in Bowman area all his life noted this yesterday morning:
I just drove past the Powell well this morning and they were set up with a workover rig and I'm sure they were drilling the laterals for the well to be fracked. It sure appeared that way.
May 4, 2014: personal correspondence -- MRO's next Tyler wildcat will be in section 29-134-104. That makes sense. That is in one of the first four drilling units MRO requested for testing the Tyler. MRO has drilled two of the first four units: a Rundle Trust well and a Powell well. The first Rundle Trust well has come off the confidential list; MRO is still studying the geology and core samples. The Powell is yet to come off the confidential list. Section 29-134-104 is northwest of Rhame, North Dakota. [To see a graphic of the area: the June, 2013, dockets when first noted MRO Tyler interest and four 1280-acre unit locations.]

 May 3, 2014: I'm still trying to sort this out, and I think I have it. Could be wrong. In the June, 2013, dockets, MRO identified four separate 1280-acre units to test the Tyler with one well in each drilling unit. In those four drilling units, they drilled two Rundle Trust wells and one Powell well. Due to problems with one of the Rundle Trust wells, they abandoned it, and immediately drilled another. So, for all practical purposes: MRO drilled two Rundle Trust wells and one Powell well, so far, of the four originally planned wells. In the May, 2014, dockets, MRO revealed their intent to drill two more Tyler wildcat wells in the same general area.

May 3, 2014: (note: I might be a bit confused on this; not sure if MRO is testing the Tyler with five or six wells now, with these two new wildcats); from the NDIC May agenda; MRO to test the Tyler in Slope County with two more wildcat wells; with these two permits, MRO will be drilling the six wildcat wells testing the Tyler in Slope County; it is a bit confusing because there are currently three (four?) such MRO Tyler wildcat wells; in fact, the first Tyler wildcat had problems, was abandoned, and a replacement well was drilled: bottom line -- MRO's plan is on track to have six wells in Slope County testing the Tyler; the first one to come off the confidential list is still being evaluated;

April 30, 2014: update on MRO Tyler well, Rundle Trust well coming off confidential list

April 27, 2014: two of the MRO Tyler wildcat wells come off confidential list on Monday, April 28, 2014; currently no production data. 

February 19, 2014: frack spreads are moving into the Rundle Trust and the Powell well sites; activity is further ahead on the Rundle Trust well site.

February 9, 2014: a reader provides this very informative update --
The Rundle Trust well that Marathon reported as "plugged or producing" is the well that is plugged.  
The well that has a wellhead and production battery is not actually producing yet.  
Marathon is waiting to frac that well and I would guess the Powell well as well until the weather warms up.  Because of the thickness of Tyler formation oil when cold, all of the flowback equipment would have to be heated for the oil to flow even half way decently.  
I was told that it would be at least March or so before they fracked those wells.  I also found out second hand that they are considering fracking those wells using diesel to try to thin the oil out more.  It will be interesting to see how it all works out. 
February 8, 2014: update on the MRO-Tyler-Powell well south of the Rundle Trust wells.

June 2, 2013: the June, 2013, dockets when first noted MRO Tyler interest and four 1280-acre unit locations.

Original Post

A reader points out that MRO permitted another Tyler well yesterday:
  • 26794, conf, MRO, Rundle Trust 21-29TH, wildcat, NWNW 29-136-99
See this post back on June 2, 2013, for background.

The two wells will be on same pad, fifty feet part.
Unless I'm "not seeing it," this newest location (#26794, NWNW 29-136-99) is not yet noted on the NDIC GIS map server. I've noted in red where I think it will be:

The reader and I both find it interesting that MRO would place two wildcats right next to each other if the company was in the process of "exploring" or "delineating" the Tyler formation in this area. In addition, the application (based on the NDIC docket agenda) suggested there would be just one horizontal in this drilling unit.

The individual who alerted me to this new well is hoping some reader might have insight on MRO's decision for two wildcats right next to each other. One going north/one going south? A problem with #26223 and will try again from same pad?

[Udate: two folks have now written, asking the same question.]

Whiting Should Post Earnings After Market Close Today; Also ATT

Nine companies announce increased dividends, including VFC which will split 4-1.

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or what you think you may have read here.


Rigzone has a nice article on the shale oil revolution.
Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) pronounced that China has officially surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest net importer of crude oil. The prospect of this change has been widely anticipated given the dramatic rise in U.S. crude oil production over the past few years due to the success of the American shale and tight oil revolutions. Put into context against trends of global oil markets, the oil market change over the past five years has been nothing short of amazing. Between 2008 and now, global oil use has risen by five million barrels a day (b/d) from 87 million b/d to 92 million b/d. At the same time, OPEC’s output has fallen by two million b/d while Brent oil prices have tumbled by nearly 25% despite the current Middle East political tensions.
The reason world oil demand could climb without the primary providers of crude oil benefiting has been due to the dramatic rise in U.S., and to a lesser degree, Canadian production – both conventional and oil sands. From mid-July 2008 to a week ago, U.S. oil production increased from 5.0 million b/d to 7.6 million b/d, which is largely attributable to increased oil flows from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and Montana and from the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin increases in Texas. Over the same period, West Texas Intermediate oil prices declined from $145 per barrel to a recent low of $102 per barrel. Canadian total oil output has increased by roughly half a million barrels a day, for about a 15% increase between mid-2008 and now. Expectations are that North American production gains will continue well into the future on the back of shale and tight oil gains in the U.S. and the shale and oil sands from Canada.
To be more precise:  which is largely attributable to increased oil flows from the Bakken shale formation in six counties in western North Dakota and from the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin increases in Texas.

EOG's 60-Stage Fracks In The Parshall Oil Field

See these links on 60-stage fracking, as far back as March, 2011:
A few days ago, EOG reported a couple of incredible wells. A reader noted the fracking:
  • 24671, 871, EOG, Van Hook 30-1113H, Parshall; Three Forks, 61 stages; 12 million lbs, sand; t6/13; cum 128K 8/13;
  • 24672, 720, EOG, Van Hook 29-1113H, Parshall, Three Forks, 55 stages; 11.8 million lbs , sand; t6/13; cum 112K 8/13;
So, for newbies, three important data points to consider about those EOG wells:
  • these are Three Forks wells, a Bakken Pool formation that EOG has just begun to target in their prolific Parshall oil field
  • the huge amount of sand the company is using
  • the number of fracks; most Bakken completions are currently 24 - 36 stage fracks (when the Bakken boom began, we were talking about single-stage fracks)

Wednesday: Bakken To Produce Almost 1 Million BOPD in November -- US EIA

Active rigs: 182 (steady, trending down)

RBN Energy: announcement for RBN Energy's Back2Back, Spring 2014 School of Energy; first week of March, 2014, Houston, TX. Registration now open.

Reuters via Rigzone is reporting:
Oil production from the six fastest-growing oil and gas regions in the United States is projected to increase by 60,000 barrels per day in November from October, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a new set of data released on Tuesday.
In the first installment of its Drilling Productivity Report, the EIA issued projected oil and gas production figures for October and November from the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara and Permian basins and formations.
By far the largest growth in production will come from the Bakken formation, mostly in North Dakota, and the Eagle Ford, mostly in Texas. Bakken oil output is projected to rise by 25,000 bpd to 960,000 bpd in November from 935,000 bpd in October, and Eagle Ford is expected to increase 24,000 bpd to 1.09 million bpd from 1.07 million bpd.
The EIA figures agree very, very closely with my projections. If you want to see those projections, scroll down at the link for various projections.

A Note To The Granddaughters

I spend a lot of time with the two granddaughters (but it is never enough). We do a lot of "verbal" math, asking questions while driving.  The second grader is trying to do multiplication, to keep up with the fifth grader.

The other day I asked the second grader what "two times eight is?" Now, remember, she has not had multiplication in school yet.

She mumbled a bit and then said 16. I asked her how she got the correct answer so quickly.

Her exact words, as best I remember them (I had her repeat this explanation on two later occasions, and she said it almost the same):
  • Well, you take 2 from 8 and you get ten.
  • And that leaves 6.
  • And 10 and 6 is sixteen.
I initially said that "taking 2 from 8 does not get you ten." She ignored me. I thought about it awhile, and this is how she is doing it.

She has a mental picture of two groups of eight objects. Let's say, two groups of eight hedgehogs, her favorite "toys," little fluffy furballs of which she has about 16, coincidentally.

So, she has a mental picture of two groups of eight hedgehogs, when asked the question, how much is two times eight?

She has a mental picture of two groups of eight hedgehogs.

She takes two from the first group and puts them with the second group, thus giving her ten in that group. Immediately she recognizes that she only has six in the first group, and it's obvious that she has 6 + 10 resulting in 16.  She obviously does this in her mind as quickly as someone who has memorized, by rote, 2 x 8 = 16.

Later, at dinner, she told us that when groups are bigger than five one cannot use fingers to solve multiplication problems. Actually when groups are bigger than three one cannot use fingers because two groups of three gets you six which requires a six-fingered hand (if one is moving everything to one hand).

3 x 8? Three groups of eight. Take two from one group, and make two groups of ten. Voila: 24.